When I needed to eat lunch last Friday, I decided to do so at the plaza in order to see if the peace rally I had read so much about on the chalked-up sidewalks was going to be any good. At this time, I can’t say the peace rally was either good or bad. All I can truly say is that the rally was very “cute.”
As most people know by now, the rally folks first aligned themselves in a giant ring-like structure. At first I thought they were going to play a humungous game of Duck, Duck, Goose, which probably would have set a few world records for size and duration, but instead they decided to make the gargantuan “Peace Symbol o’ Death,” composed of chalked outlines of bodies which, when viewed from the swiveling camera on top of Clark, most definitely looked like a peace symbol made out of carcasses.
These people in theory were anticipating the serious amount of death a war with Iraq would create, hence the bodies, and preferred peace. However, the way the Peace Symbol o’ Death appeared, it seemed to be saying only peaceful people will die in the upcoming war, or that peace ultimately leads to death. That’s a very silly message to put across in an anti-war rally, even if it was very cute.
It might have been more effective if they made the “Biohazard Symbol o’ Death” or the “Radiation Symbol o’ Death,” since that’s why we are poised to fight Iraq.
During the creation of the Peace Symbol o’ Death, there was supposed to be 5 minutes of silence to contemplate the impending doom of American soldiers and Iraqi people, but very few people bothered to be silent. It was, however, the perfect time for a one of the pro-war women to shout, “Go back to class.”
If you are going through the effort to promote war during a peace rally, it makes a fair amount of sense that you would shout about the benefits of war, rather than telling a bunch of people on their lunch hour to go back to class.
After the “silence,” the poorly-tuned djimbes and other cacophonous drums started up. This was the chance for the peace-mongers to shine. They could have had a few speeches by charismatic people, telling everyone why going to war is stupid, reckless or just plain wrong. Instead, it was time to shout out very nonsensical messages. Like what? Take, “Get up off of that thing; peace is much better!” for example. Huh? Assuming “that thing” is war, why is peace better? It sounds good, but it isn’t very convincing by itself.
Then there was, “This is what democracy looks like!” Of course it is. We elected leaders to make decisions for us. While they ideally listen to their constituents, it is, ultimately, their job to make decisions they see best fit. If we don’t like it we can either pull a Patrick Henry or vote them out of office when their terms are up.
How about, “Money over people, that’s what I call evil.” Okay, fair enough. Let’s all become communists! It worked great for Russia and Eastern Europe. It took me many, many minutes to figure out the words to the next one: “Rise up; not in our name!” At least I think that is what they were chanting. I hope not, actually, because it makes very little sense. It was at this time that I really wished these people had called up their parents and asked them how to do a good and proper anti-war rally.
The last chant was pretty cool rhythmically: “Ain’t no power like the power of the people ’cause the power of the people don’t stop!” Even so, just what were they saying? Hopefully this power isn’t derived from the NRA and the right to bear arms – that isn’t very peaceful at all.
The power of the people under our constitution pretty much lies in the ability to vote, or, after the vote, the ability to write to our congressmen and ask them to make decisions agreeing with the majority of people they represent.
It is therefore hopeful that Senator Wayne Allard and/or his cronies attended the peace rally and were overwhelmed with peaceful thoughts akin to dewdrops, rainbows and whiskers on kittens and will exert all of their powers to oppose a war in Iraq. Since, in all likelihood, they did not, hopefully everyone who attended the rally will write to Wayne and his cronies and give them their thoughts.
The alternative is that what we witnessed on Feb. 14 was nothing more than an expenditure of hot air and chalk dust. Cute, but not very effective.